Fallout, Games

Fallout 76 Primer: Getting started in the best way possible

a group of survivors stand over a gorge fallout 76 primer getting started in the best way possible

Ok, so you’ve decided to play Fallout 76 and now you’re wondering if there’s anything to do to prepare. Well yes. Yes there is.

And failing to prepare for Fallout 76 means things can go horribly wrong for your character.

a man has a third arm growing from stomach

Here’s everything you need to know and do when preparing to play Fallout 76. We’ll start with an overview of the ideal physical setup and then discuss optimizing your Fallout 76 gameplay strategy.

The Ideal Setup

The Hardware

For starters, you’re going to want a great TV and an Xbox console. Currently the best TVs are LG brand, and if money is no object you’ll want their newest OLED panel. 55″ is usually the sweet spot when it comes to TVs, so we suggest the LG C8 series 55″ OLED.

LG Electronics OLED55C8PUA 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV (2018 Model)
Price: $1,348.00
You save: $100.00 (7 %)
4 new from Too low to display4 used from $1,349.00

You’ll also want to get the top of the line Xbox One X which will make sure you’ve got the best picture available. The “X” will cost more than the “S” or other Xbox One models, but it also has better internals and will render your game with the greatest amount of detail. This version comes packaged with a wireless controller. \

*PC Master Race will tell you that computers get better resolution and frame rate and crap. Well…yeah. They’re right. But you certainly can’t do it for under $600. And it’s a lot more work to get a comfy setup that isn’t loud.

Xbox One X 1TB Console
Price: $394.00
You save: $105.99 (21 %)
49 new from Too low to display47 used from $288.00

You’ll also need a headset to communicate with other survivors in the wasteland. I find that messing with headset batteries can be a pain, so I prefer this set from Turtle Beach which is powered by your controller.

And I like to hear my own voice when I talk while wearing headphones, so I bought this little attachment here that makes that happen.

I hate going through lots of batteries, so I use these rechargeable batteries. I always have an extra battery fully charged so I can just swap out and charge the unused one.

Since you’re building the ultimate Fallout rig, might as well get a stylish holder for your controller.

Cable Guy - Vault Boy - Controller and Device Holder
Price: $22.55
You save: $2.44 (10 %)
4 new from $22.550 used

The Software

Now once you’ve setup the hardware, you’ll need to got on Xbox Live Gold, which is cheapest when purchase by the year. This will be done on your Xbox and will cost about $60. You can also buy it off Amazon here:

Finally, you’ll need the game itself. You can buy it digitally on your Xbox, and there are some advantages to doing so. You won’t have to keep track of the disk, for starters, and you can share digital games with a friend using this gameshare method. But if you plan to resell it later, or if you just want a physical copy of the game, you can order Fallout 76 here:

Fallout 76 - Xbox One
Price: $27.29
You save: $32.67 (54 %)
19 new from $27.2913 used from $10.00

Planning Your Strategy

Fallout 76 is a deep RPG and how you play will depend greatly on the choices you make at the beginning of the game. Being prepared going in is a wise choice. That is why you need to lean on the Fallout 76 community.

The Fallout 76 Community

A good place to monitor for game discussion is the Fallout 76 subreddit.

I really liked this expansive set of tips for new players (written from the perspective of a PC gamer).

And this post, written by someone who claims to have achieved level 45 during the BETA, should prove helpful.

This guide written by GameSkinny.com is pretty good as well.

Perk Card and SPECIAL Strategy

Fallout 76 isn’t just about combat or base building. It’s also about designing your character choice by choice. Depending on how you spend your SPECIAL attributes, you’ll be limited in what kinds of perk cards you can equip. Perk cards are extremely powerful in Fallout 76 and should be a focal point of your character planning. There is no going back and resetting your decisions. You will not be able to max out all your SPECIAL attributes, so its important to make the right choices the first time around.

There are two fantastic websites that allow you to read about the perks and assemble a character. It will tell you exactly what your SPECIAL attributes need in order to equip all your favorite perk cards by the time you max out your SPECIAL stats. Two websites do this, and I can’t decide which one is better. Here is an example of the build I made for myself with the Nukes and Dragons build planner.

a set of cards which represent perks on fallout 76

The build planner as FalloutBuilds.com is even more advanced, and the community over there is very active. Make sure you read their user-submitted content if you want to get serious. These guys are the real deal.

My one bit of advice when planning your build is to remember that these can be swapped any time. So if you want a perk that helps with harvesting or crafting, you can swap them as the situation requires instead of needing to stack them which would require a higher SPECIAL stat.

Interactive Map of Fallout 76

When you’re in need of a good game map, you’ll want to check out this online interactive map. Designed like a google map with pins, it provides just enough information to help you plan your next adventure or find the next quest location.

a map of west virginia with important fallout landmarks


Well, you’ve got the basics down, now it’s time to get out there and reclaim West Virginia. And when you get a chance, you’re probably gonna want to check out our great list of affordable Fallout merchandise for true fans of the series.

Derek Dwilson started Post Apocalyptic Media with his wife Stephanie. He is a licensed attorney in the state of Texas. Derek currently builds memorial websites at Will Always Be Remembered and writes about prepping and Post Apocalyptic shows whenever he gets excited about something.

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